The last month of my life in China was incredibly busy and I had no spare time to do another blog post. Get ready, because here are about 100 pictures from the end of life in China.
Our last girls group meeting at Corner Coffee. I am happy to say that the three women who were not believers in Christ at the start of our group meetings are now believers!! I am so grateful that I got to see this happen before I returned to America!
TRIP TO TIE SHAN
We had a few days off of school because the school was being used as a testing site, so my student, Catherine, invited me to visit her home in Tie Shan. It turned out that another student invited Camille to her home in Tie Shan on the same day! This worked out well for us, because we could ride the bus together and it was about an hour long ride.
Catherine, Camille's student Cecile, and these three boys met us at the bus station to show us around. The boys ditched us pretty quickly because they don't speak English very well.
The girls wanted to show us their Middle School.
Tie Shan is small and they don't get a lot of foreigners, so we were a big hit!
We visited a student, Shine, at her home. This is her mother and her adorable little brother.
Posing like Chairman Mao outside of Catherine's home.
Catherine wanted us to take a photo with her grandmother.
All the sweet students who hung out with us for the day: Catherine, Estella, Shine, and Cecile.
PARTY AT SWEET LEILA'S!
Dawn opened up her shop! She sells western style desserts and coffee!
Before the opening, we had a party to celebrate that Dawn has a shop! Camille helped to prepare the food!
Proud Shop owner!
Sweet friend, Watermelon, is the best photographer.
Qipao baby, Leila! Dawn named her shop after Leila!
Qipao friends! All of the girls dressed up in their traditional Chinese dresses for the special occasion.
"Leila, how old are you?" She's one and very smart!
Chinese pose- head to the side and two fingers in the air! oh yeah!
Diana and her daughter, Flora, also came to the party!
The Huangshi Team: Aaron, Camille, Kevin, Lesley, Dana, Leila, and Brad. Camille and I had to say goodbye to all of our team members at the party, because they all returned home the next morning.
OUR LAST WEEK AT SCHOOL
Class picture with Grade 2 class 9. The only class I taught for two years.
My favorite head teacher! For my last week of school, she let me have an extra class with my best class because she said the students missed me! Awesome!
As you can see, they were just as excited as me to get another class together!
All the sweet girls from Class 15. Vera, in the jean jumpsuit, told me my favorite quote of all of China life. I told this class that one day I want to adopt a Chinese baby. She replied, "have Chinese man, have Chinese baby." Too funny!
Special gift for Grade 2 Class 9, the very first students I've ever had!
Last Lesson: Class Superlatives. Each class voted and chose 8 students for funny superlatives such "most likely to have 100 girlfriends" and "most likely to become the president". These are the 8 winners from Class 1.
3 winners all in a row!
He was voted "most likely to miss Lesley". He really loves me, can't you tell?
So happy to be President!
Candy was chosen to have 100 boyfriends and Amy will be President and miss me the most!
One more picture in the office on the last day, just to remember it!
I taught one of my favorite classes that day, Class 4. They all signed a paper with their English and Chinese names and drew a picture of me on the back, to give to me for the final class.
Couldn't fit them all in one picture.
Last Chinese cafeteria meal. This was my typical lunch, rice and vegetables. I actually kind of miss it!
Camille and I made brownies for all of the teachers. Some of them ate it with chopsticks!
Harry and John Kennedy
Kevin and Lime
Oscar, Bad Boy, Jackson Z, and Happy. They were Camille's students first and later became mine.
Ting Ting, the only teacher our age who speaks English.
My sweet student, Lion.
I had a lot of money on my school card that had to be spent that day, so these lucky students got to get a lot of treats from the school store!
TYPICAL CHINA MOMENTS
The alleyway I walked down every week to get to San Zhong (No. 3 school)
Carrying her load.
He fixes bikes. The man across from him uses broken bike tires to fix shoes.
Men are always relaxing and even taking naps on their mopeds.
Tiny tables and chairs.
The little store beneath our apartment.
Moving a mattress.
Street food on sticks.
Plastic bottles to be recycled.
Matching family, the mom isn't in the picture, but she matched.
I had been trying to get this picture for months, but in the end, the photo cred goes to Camille! Chinese men love to walk around with their shirts up and bellies out in the hot months! Priceless!
Cute neighborhood kids who always yell "Hello weiguoren" as we walk by. That means "hello foreigners".
Sweet potato man and his wife, our favorite food vendors.
Jiaozi lady and her family.
Jiaozi means dumplings and she makes the best!
Dinner with all of the girls!
Cute! I love them!
Apparently Chinese girls put their hands on their faces like this to make their face look smaller! We all agreed that it looks weird.
Last hot pot meal with Wang Hao and Wu Xia.
Last dinner with Diana, Helen, and their families.
Saying goodbye to our downstairs neighbors who run the store.
My family came to the airport to pick me up! Amanda and Ryan surprised me and showed up, too! What a great surprise!
Camille and I wore our qipaos home and then both of our families gave us flowers. We were quite a site at the airport! Camille and I also had to say goodbye and part ways. Its been a great 2 years together!
Now I'm back in America and I'm beginning to recover from jet lag and the craziness of the past month. It was hard to leave behind the people and life I love in China, but I'm happy to be back. My new plan is to find a teaching job in Louisiana and settle down here for a while. This will be my final blog post!!! Thank you to everyone who has kept up with me and the blog for the past two years! Thank you for all of your prayers and support! Please continue lifting me up in your prayers that I find a job soon and can adjust to life in America!